Accessibility Consulting for Colleges and Universities
Between 2017 and 2018, there was a 177% increase in website accessibility lawsuits, and higher education institutions are among the organizations most commonly receiving accessibility complaints and being included in web accessibility lawsuits. In recent years, there have been high profile cases against colleges and universities related to their public-facing websites, e-learning platforms, and captioning of videos on the web.
In 2018, there was a refresh of the federal statute governing information and communication technology software, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This refresh adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the legal standard for website accessibility for any federally funded organizations or programs. This refresh of Section 508 and several high-profile accessibility legal cases have highlighted the importance of colleges and universities creating a culture of inclusivity at their institutions. A recent Educause Review article highlighted the rocky landscape that higher education institutions are in right now and emphasizes the need to move forward on the side of equal access for all.
Equalize Digital is here to help support your college’s or university’s commitment to website accessibility. Additionally, we’ll work to protect your institution from ADA-related lawsuits by ensuring that your website, software, and digital content are accessible to people of all abilities.
- Ensure that all students, faculty, and staff can access and navigate your website.
- Maintain compliance with WCAG 2.1, ADA, and Section 508 accessibility guidelines and laws.
- Reach new and underserved prospective student populations.
- Show support for a diverse campus community.
- Understand how people with disabilities use the internet.
Make Your Website Accessible
Comprehensive audits and user testing to determine your compliance gaps. We’ll help you identify areas that need improvement – whether in code or content.
Equalize Digital is your partner to resolve all accessibility errors and ensure your website meets WCAG 2.1, Section 508, and ADA standards.
From providing training for your team to ongoing website assessments, we’ll verify your website stays compliant with current accessibility laws and standards.
Web Accessibility Services That Fit Your Institution’s Needs
Whether you need urgent accessibility remediation or are planning a new website for your college or university and want to ensure it is accessible to people of all abilities, our team of expert consultants and accessibility-focused developers are here to help.
We understand the unique complexities that are included in working on government-funded projects and look forward to helping you achieve your website accessibility goals.
Higher Education Website Accessibility Resources
Equalize Digital is more than an accessibility audit and remediation company. We build training into our audit, remediation, and new website development processes to help ensure that your website stays accessible after its remediation or launch. Our goal is not just to be your remediators, but to be your teachers so that by the end of our engagement you’ll have a solid understanding of website accessibility basics. We want you to be empowered to enter new content on your website or create new designs in an accessible manner.
If you would like to learn more about website accessibility, please inquire about our training services or visit these helpful resources for higher education website accessibility.
Step-by-step guide to help you easily identify relevant accessibility requirements from the Revised 508 Standards, and incorporate them into your procurement and contracting documentation, as well as in-house IT development.
Learn more about Section 508, the revised standards, and related laws and policies as they relate to your college, university, department, or program.
Online resource center to help colleges be accessible, so that your student body can be the diverse and blind college students can achieve their true potential, not be limited by accessibility barriers.
Ready to get started?
Whether you’re concerned about accessibility compliance or you want to completely overhaul your institution’s online presence, our team is ready to help you ensure your website is usable by people of all abilities.
To get started or learn more about how we work, call us at (512) 942-5858 or visit our contact page to request more information from our sales team.
Higher Education Website Accessibility Services FAQs
In our experience, unless you are already extensively focusing on website accessibility, there are likely accessibility issues present on your current website that need to be fixed. Nearly all websites and applications have accessibility problems because, unfortunately, we have not yet reached a point where all designers and developers make accessibility a priority. Additionally, on college campuses with decentralized websites, many smaller departments or academic programs likely have websites that were built many years ago and are not accessible.
If you’re not sure that our services are right for you, we recommend getting one of our free risk assessments. These assessments tell you:
- If there are any errors present on your website.
- How we can help and the fastest path to remediation.
You can request a risk assessment at no charge on our accessibility audits page.
If you request a risk assessment, you’ll be able to schedule a meeting to go over your assessment at a time that makes sense for you. Typically we have your risk assessment complete and are available to meet to discuss it within 24 hours.
Our initial accessibility audits generally take 5 business days from the date you sign up and pay your deposit.
Remediation timelines are unique for every client depending upon several items, including the number of problems present on the site and the budget available for fixes. Our goal is to remediate all issues as quickly as possible, and some clients choose to have an intense remediation phase over several weeks following the audit. Other clients may elect to enter a remediation plan that stretches over many months due to the number of problems that need to be addressed, the number of pages requiring manual review, and their budget.
Yes. Our team has developed accessible websites and web applications and has provided accessibility consulting for large public universities, government agencies, and federally funded programs. Additionally, our CEO, Amber Hinds, previously worked as a Director of Marketing at Bard College and Assistant Director of Admissions of Marist College, which provided a solid understanding of the inner-workings of private colleges.
We are familiar with the intricacies of working on a website that is paid for by state or federal dollars and that there may be additional contractual items that need to be included in the terms of service or certain milestones that need to be met in order for payment to be released.
Yes, we do occasionally submit responses to RFPs for new website projects depending upon the scope of the project and timeline. If your department or institution has an RFP that you would like us to review and respond to, please email it to sales [at] equalizedigital.com. Please note, we do have a strong preference toward responding to RFPs that list a budget.
Yes. If you have your own in-house developers but need a trained accessibility expert to assist with auditing and providing support as your development team remediates issues, we can help.
For companies with an internal development team, we can craft custom remediation and monitoring support plans which includes access to our scanning dashboard and reports, as well as time for training and support as your developers work through issues. We can also coordinate user testing sessions with our blind and visually impaired testers. Please contact us for additional information.